After today's 23-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears fans have been left scrambling for reasons to be positive heading into the regular season, which is just 15 days away.
The first-team offense struggled the entire game, totaling just 20 yards in the first half. The defense wasn't nearly as inept but it's clear there is plenty of work to do on that side of the ball as well.
With that in mind, here are the winners and losers from Chicago's third preseason contest.
Bullard continues his strong preseason, showing outstanding quickness in his ability to repeatedly penetrate into the backfield. He finished the day with 3 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 QB hits and a sack. Bullard showed well on passing downs in sub packages, while also using his quickness and leverage to stay stout against the run. Don't be surprised if Bullard ends up the most productive rookie for the Bears this season.
Shaw came into the game in the fourth quarter after Brian Hoyer was knocked out of the game following a big hit. To that point the offense hadn't even sniffed the end zone. Shaw took over at the 48-yard line and he led the offense on a four-play scoring drive that ended with 16-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Meredith. Shaw finished the game 5-for-6 for 68 yards and 1 TD, good for a 153.5 QB rating. Unfortunately, Shaw's season is likely over after suffering a gruesome ankle injury.
Meredith took reps with both the first and second team. He was targeted eight times, catching 4 passes for a team-high 64 yards and 1 TD. Meredith (6-3, 207) is a big wideout with playmaking ability, and he might have solidified his spot on the 53-man roster today.
Hicks only had one tackle on the game but it went for a sack on a cross stunt with Lamarr Houston. Hicks has been a beast during training camp and will be one of the key factors to the success of Chicago's defensive front seven this season.
White was targeted four times, catching 1 pass for 3 yards. He also had an ugly dropped pass on a bubble screen. He later cut his route too shallow on a third-down pass from Jay Cutler. White now has 3 catches for 12 yards in three preseason games. He does not look comfortable in the offense right now and has been hesitant both before and after the catch. He's looked good in practice but White has yet to show anything on the game field.
Hall picked up an interception but that was due to a ball bouncing off the receiver's hands and into Hall's lap, not because of anything Hall did. What Hall did not do, and what he hasn't done the entire preseason, is look back for a ball in the air. He had gotten away with before today but it finally came back to bite him on a 58-yard reception by Tyreek Hill, in which Hall never turned his head to find the ball. Later, Hall got lost in man coverage, giving up an easy 15-yard gain on third down. Hall has made some plays but his lack of awareness in coverage is scary.
Young had a hit on QB Alex Smith early in the game but other than that, Young was invisible for most of the game. He had just 1 tackle and no sacks, and could not apply any pressure off the edge. As a result, Chiefs quarterbacks had far too much time on passing downs, with Kansas City going 9-for-17 on 3rd down. Young has been nearly unstoppable in practice and just received a contract extension this month, so he'll need to have a bigger impact going forward, particularly with Pernell McPhee on the shelf.
Porter wasn't horrible today but he left the game with a concussion after taking a knee to the helmet. Kyle Fuller is already out and there's no timetable for his return, so losing Porter for any length of time would be devastating to the secondary.null